Punjab teachers protest | Pak students in UK

Punjab teachers continue protest
Rawalpindi, Jan 17: Professors and lecturers continued their protest on the 8th consecutive day on Monday across the province despite being threatened by the Punjab government.

The protest was started on the call of All Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (APPLA) in favour of their demands, which remain unresolved for a long time. Professors and lecturers of both male and female colleges boycotted classes, affecting studies of students in all institutions of the province. However students backed their teachers and raised slogans in favour of their demands. Student leaders also held demonstrations in their respective educational institutions and called upon Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to accept demands of professors and lecturers, including regular and those working on contract basis.

Talking at the Gordon College, Rawalpindi, APPLA Rawalpindi Division President Ilyas Qureshi said that professors and lecturers, both male and female, have decided to take out a big protest rally on Wednesday, which would march on Benazir Bhutto Road and stage a protest demonstration on reaching the offices of 'The News' and 'Jang' at Mareer Chowk.

"The Punjab government, instead of accepting our demands, has issued termination letters to protesting professors and lecturers serving in Punjab colleges. However, we did not receive termination orders. We will continue our protest movement till acceptance of our demands, which are genuine. We will continue our boycott of classes and will not yield to any threat or pressure by the Punjab government," the APPLA divisional president vowed.

He said: "The protest movement is peaceful at the moment but if pressure tactics are adopted and services of protesting professors and lecturers are terminated practically then they will adopt a strict strategy in due course of time."

Referring to the demands, Ilyas Qureshi said that in all other provinces of the country, including Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa besides Azad Jammu and Kashmir, professors and lecturers are provided with facilities but in Punjab all kinds of incentives are missing, which is unjust.

He said that the existing system of boards of governors only in 26 colleges of the province should be abolished immediately. Under the system, students could not get admission in BA and BSc in 26 best colleges (boys and girls) of Punjab, including Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Jhelum, Gujranwala. "This system should be abolished forthwith. It is our demand," he added.

"Our second demand is time-frame promotions of lecturers and professors on completion of 23 years of service in colleges." He also demanded, on behalf of professors and lecturers, reduction in time period of promotion from 23 years to 10 years. Lecturers and professors who complete 10 years service in college should be moved to grade 18. After completion of 15 years of service, the upgradation process should continue till retirement.

Referring to third demand, Ilyas Qureshi called upon the Punjab government to regularise services of contract lecturers who have cleared the public service commission test. Those joining service after passing public service commission tests should be recruited on regular basis instead of appointing them on contract basis, he demanded.

The fourth demand is implementation of one-step upgradation policy of professors and lecturers in all male and female colleges of the province, he appealed.

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College principals, teachers get notices
Lahore: The Higher Education Department, Punjab, has sought explanation from principals of eight different colleges and issued show cause notices to over a dozen teachers in connection with the ongoing academic boycott on the call of the Punjab Professors & Lecturers Association (PPLA).

It is learnt that Higher Education secretary Dr Ijaz Munir on Monday sent notices to principals of eight colleges including Govt Islamia College, Civil Lines, Govt College of Science, Wahdat Road and Govt College for Women, Model Town of Lahore. The other colleges receiving the notices included two colleges of Muzaffargarh and two colleges each of Khanewal and Sialkot. The education department sough explanation from the colleges' principals about the active participation of their teachers in disrupting academic activities at their respective campuses. Besides, over a dozen college teachers from across the province were also issued show cause notices by the Higher Education secretary.

It is learnt that, in the coming days, more teachers would be served with the notices.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that a meeting of PPLA delegation would be held with Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah at the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday (today). Sources privy to the developments said Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) secretary general Liaqat Baloch had played a key role in organizing the meeting and he would also attend the meeting. It is pertinent to mention that PPLA issued the call for academic boycott at government colleges as part of its protest campaign against the Punjab government for not fulfilling demands of college teachers. The demands include: time-scale, one step up-gradation, regularization of contract lecturers, etc.

Sources in the department said the government had assured PPLA leadership that the department was ready to regularize contract lecturers appointed through Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) till 2010 besides providing Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 as MPhil and PhD allowance, respectively. However, they said, the teachers' demands of one-step up-gradation and time scale were not feasible as employees of other department would also demand the same.

An official of the department, seeking anonymity, said there were around 12,000 college teachers while over 350,000 schoolteachers. If timescale and up-gradation were awarded to college teachers, others would also demand the same, he added, terming the demand unfeasible.

He said the government had agreed on establishing the Punjab College Teachers Foundation but it was unfortunate that college teachers were protesting and boycotting classes as it was affecting academic activities at the colleges.

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British Council honours Pakistanis graduating from UK
Islamabad: This is the first time the British Council held an event in Pakistan to honour and acknowledge the academic achievement of Pakistani students who completed their graduation in the UK. The event was held here for Pakistani students who completed their studies in the UK but were unable to attend their graduation ceremonies.

Pakistan's foremost nuclear physicist Dr. Samar Mubarkmand was also present on the occasion.

Organised with the support of the British High Commission, the ceremony honoured over 200 of the many thousand Pakistanis who have graduated from the UK universities and encourage the brightest and the best Pakistani students to study in the UK.

Pakistan and the UK enjoy strong social, economic and cultural ties rooted in years of a shared history. As a result, the UK remains a favourite destination for Pakistanis seeking educational opportunities abroad. However, many Pakistani students who return from the UK express disappointment at having missed out on their graduation ceremonies. The event in Islamabad is the first of a series of three events providing an opportunity for alumni from the UK universities to relive their graduation moments and to celebrate their academic achievements with their loved ones. Similar events will be held in Karachi and Lahore later this month to honour the UK alumni across Pakistan.

Alumni received certificates of achievement from British Deputy High Commissioner Alison Blake.

Speaking on the occasion and appreciating the contributions of Pakistan's UK alumni, Alison Blake said, "The thousands of Pakistani graduates from UK universities embody the strong and lasting connections between our two countries. These are remarkable individuals who are working towards building a brighter, better future for Pakistan and we are proud of their achievements."

Since a very large number of Pakistanis go to the UK each year for education, there is a big alumni presence in the country, which the British Council was keen to work with.

Commenting on their work in this area, British Council Country Director David Martin said that to organise the alumni and assist them in networking with each other, the British Council has established the British Alumni Association of Pakistan (BAAP). The organisation has four provincial chapters and many other smaller sub-chapters across the country. "We encourage all graduates of UK universities to join their local chapters," he said.

Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, while speaking on the occasion, said that a project has almost been finalised to produce electricity by utilising Thar coal reserves, which are one of the five largest coal reserves in the world. The project is all set to achieve the national goal of making the country self-sufficient in energy sector.

Under the project, he said, the coal would not be mined rather plants would be installed on deposits to produce gas in a most sophisticated manner. The Thar coal reservoirs have potential to generate 5,000MW electricity for at least 800 years to meet growing energy demand of the country, Dr. Samar added. He said inexpensive production of electricity would bring an industrial revolution in the country, putting it on consistent path to progress and prosperity.

The British Council, in collaboration with British High Commission, is committed to supporting higher education in Pakistan. Each year, the British Council administers a number of scholarships like Chevening, Charles Wallace fellowships and Commonwealth scholarships. Under Chevening Scholarships programme alone, over 550,000 was spent to send 23 Pakistani scholars to the UK last year in September for a one year postgraduate degree programme. The scholarships allow Pakistani students the chance to benefit from the UK's tradition of academic excellence and make productive contributions to their society back home.

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Missing ACRs may deprive 35 FDE teachers of promotion
Islamabad: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on Monday refused to give promotion under upgradation package to 35 teachers (18 males and 17 females), currently working in BPS-17 and BPS-18, whose Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) are still missing, mainly due to negligence of principals of their respective colleges.

Sources said the teachers whose ACRs are missing include eight from Federal Government College for Women (F-7/2), six from Federal Government Margalla College for Women (F-7/4), eight from Federal Government Postgraduate College (H-8), six from Federal Government College (H-9) and three from Federal Government College for Girls (G-10/4).

The official data showed that a total of 166 teachers (82 males and 84 females) from grade 17 and grade 18 have been considered for time-scale promotion but the issue of missing ACRs is likely to cause tension between FDE and teachers' association.

FDE Director General Atif Mehmood Kayani told this correspondent that rules and procedures never allow them to promote any teacher who fails to present all his or her ACRs so they would follow the existing rules while promoting teachers of grade 17-18.

The teachers' association has raised voice against the 'criminal' negligence of the principals who never bothered to write ACRs of all teachers while leaving their posts.

The official data showed that two principals of Federal Government College H-8 - Professor Sheikh Saeed and Professor Ali Athar Zaidi - had retired from their posts and they never sent ACRs of eight teachers to the ACR Wing of FDE before their retirement.

Atif Kayani said if the principals got retired then rules and procedures still allow them to write ACRs of teachers because technically no one except them could do so. "The teachers can approach retired principals and ensure they write their ACRs before announcement of the upgradation package," he said.

Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) Secretary General Professor Tahir Mehmood said it is not the fault of teachers if their principals did not write their ACRs so now the FDE should itself approach the retired principals and direct them to complete their work at the earliest.

"It is quite unfortunate that the FDE don't have clear procedures to force the principals to write ACRs of all teachers before leaving their job. No one could punish anyone on the fault of any other person and if it happens then we would raise voice against it," he said.

The data showed that after the approval of service rules by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) and Establishment Division, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) has already given approval for upgradation of around 2,500 teachers of BPS-14 to BPS-16. All teachers of grade 14, including trained undergraduate teachers, drill masters and physical training instructors, have also been upgraded to grade 16.

The Establishment Division has also approved the summary for promotion of the teaching staff under the time-scale promotion formula having financial benefits for them. Those benefiting from the formula include the teaching staff working in BPS 17 to 20 in federal government schools and Islamabad model schools and colleges.

Atif Kayani said they support the cause of promotion of teachers but they have to follow procedures so teachers must ensure production of their ACRs to secure eligibility for upgradation package. The news

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FDE to check O/A level demand among students
Islamabad: Prior to the launch of O/A level education, the committee formed by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) would soon conduct a survey in its institutions to check its demand among students.

Talking to APP, Director Model Colleges, FDE, Tariq Masood said a performa, in this regard, will be distributed among the students of class 7th and 8th.

After assessing the demand the course will be introduced in the institutes where it is required, he said.

He said introduction of O, A level studies was aimed at realising the dream of unified education system in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and it would help the students who could not afford the course in private schools due to high fee structures.

Initially, the directorate will launch a pilot project in two schools and colleges each for both boys and girls from among 418 FDE-run institutions, he said.

After the success of the pilot project, O and A level classes would be extended to all FDE institutions within a few years, he added.

Tariq Masood said that the students belonging to the middle class could not afford to study these courses in private sector educational institutions.

Contrary to this, the public sector educational institutions would not charge more than Rs6,000, enabling the students of lower class and even middle class to availthe international standard education.

About the teachers, Tariq Masood said that the federal institutes have well qualified teachers to teach O, A level courses and the best teachers among them will be selected and given extensive training.

'Our teachers are quite capable of teaching these creativity based courses only they have to adopt student-centered teaching approach', Tariq Masood observed.

The directorate will hire new teachers too if it is required, he added.

FDE is currently managing 418 schools and colleges for girls and boys having around 8,600 teachers.

It would be the first education directorate across the country offering O and A level education to the students of public institutes. app

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PhD review committee meets in IIUI
Islamabad: A meeting of the PhD Review Committee was held at the International Islamic University (IIUI) on Monday.

The committee comprised Higher Education Commission (HEC) Adviser (HRD) Dr Riaz Hussian Qureshi, Arid Agricultural University Rawalpindi Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mehmood Khan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Habib ur Rehman, former Fatima Jinnah Women Univeristy Rawalpindi vice chancellor Dr Saeeda Asadullah, IIUI Vice President Dr Sahibzada Sajid ur Rehman, and deans and directors of various IIUI departments.

Dr Sahibzada Sajid ur Rehman briefed the committee about the higher education standards at IIUI. He also told committee members about the subsidiary units of the IIUI. He said that the Islamic Research Institute had been established under the constitution of Pakistan in 1960 and had completed 200 publications, which was ample work in the field of research. Dawn

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Online, manual systems to run concurrently: BISE
Lahore: Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) chairman Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik has said that online as well as manual system will be run simultaneously until functional awareness of online system among students, their parents and teachers.

Dr Malik was speaking to officers under training at the Civil Services Academy who visited the BISE offices here on Monday.

He explained board's activities with regard to holding of examinations, marking answer scripts and declaration of results. He also informed the visiting officers about the problems faced in preparing results in 2011.

BISE examinations controller Anwar Farooq and secretary Dr Abdul Razzaq Shahid were also present. Dawn

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UAF urges HEC to increase funds
Faisalabad: The research portfolio of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad has increased up to 1,200 from 300 in four years, making it third best university of the country, according to Higher Education Commission for the year 2010.

This was stated by UAF VC Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while addressing an oath-taking ceremony of Academic Staff Association held on Monday at Old Senate Hall. He said for the year 2011, the university was emerging second best university in the country. He said that during the span of four years, the university had introduced 100 elective courses in a bid to strengthening its educational programmes and producing quality students. He called for transforming the knowledge intro goods and services with boosting up outreach programmes. He said that Pakistan Agricultural Research Council had been set up with 200 foreign scholarships while the UAF established in 1961 with 100 foreign scholarships. He said that recent initiative of Punjab government to provide 300 foreign scholarships for UAF would prove hallmark for the agriculture of the country. He also urged the HEC to increase the funds for the UAF because of increasing expenditures.

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PU declares results
Lahore: The Punjab University Examinations Department on Monday declared the results of various examinations. According to details, the exams include MA Islamic Studies, Part-II, Annual Exam 2011, BA Special Annual Exam 2011 held in Kuwait, BA Special Annual Exam 2010 held in Madina Munawwara, KSA, BA Special Supplementary Exam 2010 held in Dubai, UAE, BA Special Annual Exam 2011 held in Ankara, Turkey, BA Special Annual Exam 2011 held in London, UK, BA/BSc Special Annual Exam 2011 held in Dubai, UAE, Professional Diploma in Painting, Graphic Design, Textile Design, Print Making & Drawing, Semester System, Session 2010-2011, Postgraduate Diploma in Interior Design, Semester System, Session 2009-2010.

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PU awards 8 PhDs
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) on Monday awarded PhDs to eight candidates.

According to a press statement, Saima Shamas d/o ShamasUddin has been awarded the degree in Urdu after approval of her research thesis "Urdu Ghazal Main Marg-o-Hayat Ka Tasawwur," Mujahid Hussain Bukhari s/o Yousaf Ali Shah in Chemistry after approval of his research thesis "Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Studies of Pyrimidine Related Compounds," Tariq Majeed s/o Abdul Majeed in the subject of Urdu after approval of his research thesis "Urdu Nasar Kay Firog Main (Punjab Kay) Deni Madaras Ka Kirdar" Ahmad Ejaz s/o Chaudhry Muhammad Ishaq in Political Science after approval of his research thesis "Kashmir Issue & US Security Concerns in South Asia 1990-2002," Syeda Salma Hasan d/o Sarfraz Hasan in Applied Psychology after approval of her research thesis entitled "Study of Psychosocial Determinants of High and Low Academic Achievers," Mahboob Iqbal s/o Bashiruddin in the subject of Zoology after approval of his research thesis "Taxonomy and Dental Morphological Studies on Fossil Artiodactyls from Type Locality of Dhok Pathan, Punjab, Pakistan," Furqan Ahmad s/o Subhan Ahmad in Islamic Studies after approval of his research thesis "The Concept of Taubah (Repentance): A Comparative Study of Semitic Religions" and Bushra d/o Karam Din in Mathematics after approval of her research thesis "Configurational Structure and Ideals of BCC/Weak BCC-Algebras".

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LCWU to set up research unit
Lahore: Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor has announced that the university will establish Disaster Management Research Unit.

She was addressing the inaugural session of two-day training workshop on "Disaster Risk Management" held at the LCWU in collaboration and support of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Dr M Atiqur Rahman, Associate Professor at the LCWU and focal person of the workshop, welcoming the participants highlighted the aims and objectives of the workshop. He said the workshop was aimed at increasing general awareness and technical knowledge about Disaster Risk Management, and how to minimize risks associated with natural and human induced disasters.

He said the audience that LCWU was playing a leading role to take care of the needs of physically challenged persons within its campus in collaboration with Milestone Society of the Special Persons. Similarly, the Disaster Risk Management measures would be integrated in all future development decisions of LCWU, he added. Addressing the seminar, Waqas Hanif, National Project Manager, UN DRM Program; Ahmad Raza Sarwar, Director NDMA and Nisar Ahmad, Director Coordination PDMA Punjab appreciated the idea of establishing Disaster Management Research Unit at LCWU and ensured maximum cooperation from NDMA, PDMA and UNDP for the continuity for such activities on sustainable basis.

The two days training workshop comprised of 14 technical sessions. Training experts include Falak Nawaz (DRM Consultant of UNDP), Mubushar Hussain (Director NIDM/DRR Mainstreaming Expert, UNDP); Shaker Mahmood Mayo (DRR Mainstreaming Consultant), Faran Shoaib Naru (Policy Advisor, PDMA, Punjab) Wajahat Ahmad (PDRM Coordinator, PDMA, Punjab); M Ajmal Shad (Director Flood Forecasting Division, PMD, Lahore), Dr M Atiqur Rahman (Associate Professor, Environmental Science Department, LCWU), Dr Rizwan Naseer (Director General Punjab Emergency Services Rescue 1122, Lahore), Ather Ashraf (Punjab University).

The Director General of Punjab Emergency Services Rescue 1122 will address the training workshop on the concluding day (today) while special demonstration would be organized by Rescue 1122 with the participation of students of LCWU.

The closing session will also be attended by Dr Arifa Tahir (Head of Environmental Science Department, LCWU), Muhammad Ahmad Rajwana (Director Operations PDMA, Punjab) Prof Dr Kausar Jamal Cheema, Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences, LCWU.

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GCU distinction
Lahore: Government College University (GCU) Debating Society has won the All Pakistan Bilingual Declamation Contest 2012 organized by a private college. According to a press statement, 56 speakers from 14 prestigious educational institutions took part in the contest. In Urdu debates, Zahid Ali secured the first position wile Adnan Farooq stood second. Qurat-ul-Ain secured the third position in English debates. GCU team also lifted a team trophy. The news

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